Class 7 Civics

Women Empowerment II

Many boys and girls attend school today. But there still remains a difference in the education levels of boys and girls.

In this lesson, you will learn about the current scenario of women education in India. You will also learn about reasons for high dropout among girls and about awareness campaigns to tackle this problem.

Schooling and Education
Current Scenario

The dropout rate of girls is very high especially in rural areas. This is due to the circumstances and the attitude of the family and society wherein girls are expected to take care of the house and their siblings and elders. It is also due to inadequate facilities at school like availability of toilets.

CensusLiterate boys and men (%)Literate girls and women (%)

The above table shows that though the number of literate men and women has increased significantly over the years, the gap between the education levels of men and women has not gone away. Providing equal schooling facilities to children from all communities and classes, and particularly girls still continues to be a challenge in our country.

From the data of the Education Survey, GOI 2003-2004 we can conclude that

The 2001 census also found that the rate at which Muslim girls leave school is higher than that of Dalit (officially called Scheduled Caste or SC) and Adivasi (officially called Scheduled Tribe or ST) girls. While a non-Muslim girl stays in school for around four years, a Muslim girl leaves school as early as after three years.

Reasons for dropping out of school
Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim communities

Women's movement

Now women and girls have a right to go to school. There is a change in the scenario that existed many years ago. This change has not happened overnight. It is a result of the continuous struggle and efforts by women individually and collectively. This struggle is called the Women's Movement. Many women's organizations from different parts of the country as well as individual women are a part of this movement. The movement has the support of many men also. Even in other spheres like legal reforms, violence and health, the condition of women has improved. Various strategies and methods are used for

Some of the strategies are as follows:


Campaigns to oppose discrimination and seek justice are an integral part of the women's movement. The impact of the campaigns is as under:

Raising awareness

The first step in addressing any issue is to raise public awareness about it. The women's movement did the same and spread the message through street plays, songs and public meetings.


When any violation against women takes place, the women's movement raises its voice against it. Some popular and effective ways of drawing public attention to injustices are public rallies and demonstrations.

Showing Solidarity

Showing solidarity with other women and causes is also a part of the women's movement.